5-4-3-2-1 Grounding

Busy schedules and life obligations can often feel as if they’re stacked like Jenga blocks, an unstable structure destined for disaster. If your life feels like it is starting to crash around you at top speed, or even if you’re feeling the slightest bit “off,” it may be time to practice the art of grounding.

Grounding is a technique that helps you to breathe, refocus, and reconnect to the present. Grounding can help in times when you’re feeling: anxious, stressed, in a fog, or even just off your “A” game.

The 5-4-3-2-1 technique is an easy grounding exercise you can do. So plop those boots in the snow, take a breath (and watch it leave), and follow these steps:

– Find 5 things you can see in the room around you.
– Think of 4 things you can feel in the present moment, such as your hands touching a desk or your feet feeling the floor.
– Listen to 3 sounds that you can hear, such as a door closing or a car horn outside.
– Pick out 2 things you can smell or 2 smells that you enjoy, like your favorite gingerbread candle or the smell of pine needles.
– Describe 1 good quality about yourself, such as your work ethic or how you have communicated with loved ones lately.
– Repeat as needed.

Feeling anxious, especially in public places, can take away from your social experience and emotional well-being. This grounding technique can help you start to feel better. If feelings of anxiety or stress are continually making you feel unwell, contact your health provider or a counselor for additional help.